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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

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Malaysian Airlines MH370 contact lost

Old 13th Mar 2014, 15:37
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Indonesian assistance

Indonesian Air Force Boeing A7303 combed the Malaka Strait in search of the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 from Monday (March 10) to Tuesday, but in vain.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 15:40
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Cargo?

I still think the, "What was in the cargo", is a very valid question.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 15:44
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I still think the, "What was in the cargo", is a very valid question.
If any journalists are reading this, perhaps you could raise it at tomorrow's press conference
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 15:49
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BBC coverage

The BBC has clearly lost the editorial plot.

They just had an interview on BBC World TV with some conspiracy theorist nutter spouting a mixture of inaccurate and discredited tosh, complaining about SAR incompetence and a lack of information. There must be pushing 100 multinational ships and aircraft out there searching, not to mention all the electronic scrutiny. Are they all incompetent? What sort of information does he want? Fabricated 'facts' just to keep him and the media happy?

The whole semi-frivolous tone of the interview, anchored by Lucy Hockings (promoting the 'someone's holding something back' line), was pretty distasteful in the circumstances.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:04
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If both pilots were unconscious due to hypoxia, does this mean that the flight deck oxygen masks were fed from a single, common source?

Last edited by shawk; 13th Mar 2014 at 16:30.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:07
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Originally Posted by Lost in Saigon
AFAIK the aircraft identity is not coded into the transponder. ATC enters the aircraft ident into their system when they assign the transponder code.
Wrong. The aircraft identity is coded into a Mode S transponder and cannot be changed. The Flight ID is separate and under the control of the crew, as is the squawk.

If you look at the registration record for any aircraft, you will see something like:
ICAO 24 bit aircraft address:Binary: 0100_00_000_000_01_0010110100
Hex: 4004B4
Octal: 20002264

Which will link back to the specific aircraft, whatever Flight ID or squawk is selected.

If you look at the full Mode S return on a screen, you will see the "4004B4" displayed.

Back to (bemused) watching brief.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:10
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WilyB . . .

Making a cell phone call in a jet flying over 8000 ft is virtually impossible...and data exchange impossible above 8000 ft.
Stormy Knight . . .
As for cell phones and aircraft (yet again), hands up all those who have flown between say western europe and the far east and never, ever found the likes of a "welcome to CIS telecom" ( or something similar) text on their phone on arrival in NRT....
Just for a factual record: My cellphone, unintentionally left ON, inside my luggage stowed in the forward section of B747 main deck, had recorded 3 "welcome messages" from a Bangladesh telecom, while traversing the country at FL330.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:18
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My apologies if this has already been discussed, this thread is huge and moving fast.

What about the report in the WSJ this morning about the engines reporting back that they ran for four hours? How is that possible?

I'm curious as to all the various radios on the plane, their locations, and what they are talking to. Do the engines have a completely independent radio that would be located somewhere other than the main electronics bay? Is it possible for the aircraft to go completely radio silent but still report back engine telemetry? Does that system talk to a satellite?

I've heard that harped on all morning on the radio and TV news here in the US and no one is asking those very obvious questions....how that would continue to work but literally no other data is coming off of the plane.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:22
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The SecDef of Malaysia denied the engine data transmission story today. The US still seems to support some ongoing flight theory.

ABC news:
http://abcnews.go.com/International/...ry?id=22894802
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:23
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Last Point of contact onwards

The theory of MH370 continuing to fly a further 4 to 5 hours after last point of contact appears to be weakening -

Malaysian authorities have said reports that the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have flown for an additional four hours beyond its last sighting are inaccurate, and that the final information received from its engines indicated everything was operating normally.

"We have contacted both the possible sources of data Rolls-Royce and Boeing and both have said they did not receive data beyond 1.07am," Malaysia Airlines chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahyain, told reporters on Thursday afternoon. "The last transmission at 1.07am stated that everything was operating normally."


Thursday 13 March 2014 12.30 GMT - The Guardian.com
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:24
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Wrong. The aircraft identity is coded into a Mode S transponder and cannot be changed. The Flight ID is separate and under the control of the crew, as is the squawk.

If you look at the registration record for any aircraft, you will see something like:
ICAO 24 bit aircraft address:Binary: 0100_00_000_000_01_0010110100
Hex: 4004B4
Octal: 20002264

Which will link back to the specific aircraft, whatever Flight ID or squawk is selected.

If you look at the full Mode S return on a screen, you will see the "4004B4" displayed.
The use of the word transponder is causing confusion here. There is the Mode S transponder referred to above, there is also the Mode A/C transponder which is the 4 digit SSR transponder.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:30
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FNG here. Private Pilot and aircraft owner-PA-28. It is good to see that there are some real experienced folks here, adding good info and not just crazy conspiracy theories.

As for transponders, every aircraft registered, at least in the USA, has a unique transponder address assigned, whether a xpdr is installed or not. For instance, my PA28 has a Mode C transponder, which as far as I know does not broadcast any identifying info other than whatever code I have dialed into it. AFAIK the address code is reserved for future use. Of course in the airline and commercial world where more sophisticated xpdrs are required (and soon for GA too, with the impending ADS-B requirements), the address is coded in and transmitted on the extended squitter.

As far as simming goes, at least in the GA world I hear it is getting quite popular as a tool to maintain skills when one can't fly as often as one would like. My CFII has said he uses FSX as a tool to brush up on instrument procedures, and recommends it to his students. I personally fly XPlane 10 a lot to keep up when the weather keeps me grounded (still working on my inst rating and of course a PA-28 is not certified for flight into known icing). Simming is a tool that I would bet a lot of commercial and ATP pilots use for fun and informal training, nothing inherently suspicious there.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:30
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ex-EGLL;
The use of the word transponder is causing confusion here. There is the Mode S transponder referred to above, there is also the Mode A/C transponder which is the 4 digit SSR transponder.
Does the T7 have both?
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:35
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A number of posts suggested that all those dense jungles in SE Asia could easily hide a small smoking hole. Let me remind everyone that the romantic picture of dense jungles (with aeroplane wrecks overgrown with trees waiting for Indy) is a thing of the past. The region has one of the highest population densities of the world, and more than 90% of the original primary forest cover is gone, to be replaced by farmland, palm oil plantations, and second-growth forests after logging. Even in mountainous areas where the forest canopy appears continuous, there is a dense pattern of small farms and villages. I find it inconceivable that a T7 could have landed or crashed anywhere on any land within range (except small uninhabited islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but those are not many) without being heard or seen by somebody.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:40
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How Far It Flew

Kerosene Kraut:

The SecDef of Malaysia denied the engine data transmission story today. The US still seems to support some ongoing flight theory.

Its not that Malaysians are against the ongoing flight theory, till someone locates the debris field you have no option but to assume that the aircraft flew beyond that geographic area. Right now they are scouring Malacca strait and eastern Andaman Sea. In next couple of days they will move further west into the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. Its pretty obvious by now that the debris field is not anywhere close to main shipping channels in the Indian ocean but perhaps further north in the Bay of Bengal.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:40
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According to ABC's chief Pentagon correspondent, the U.S. is sending the USS Kidd from the Andaman Sea west into the Indian Ocean, and it will take the ship 24 hours to get to the area where the U.S. thinks the plane might be.. Cruising speed could be 33 knots.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:44
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For the rapid decompression theorists here are some facts from RAF AVMED.

Hypoxia (anoxia) occurs when the body is short of oxygen.

Amount of oxyhaemoglobin in the blood depends on the amount of oxygen in the lungs (not atmosphere).

Partial Pressure of Oxygen

At sea level the standard atmospheric pressure is 760 mmHg. 21% of 760 will be from Oxygen because amount of oxygen in the air is 21%. Thus partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level is 160 mmHg. The amount of oxygen in the air can be described as its partial pressure in mmHg. As altitude increases the partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere falls. The rate of change of pressure is greatest as we climb from sea level and decreases with altitude.

At sea level, percentage of oxygen in the lungs is only 14.5% (in atmosphere it is about 21%). Thus the partial pressure of O2 in the lungs is 100 mmHg.

As altitude increases the partial pressure of oxygen in the atmosphere falls but the proportion of oxygen in the atmosphere remains the same. Also as altitude increases the partial pressure of water vapour and to an extent carbon dioxide in the lungs remains the same reducing the partial pressure of oxygen in the lungs still further. Reduction in cabin pressure to an equivalent altitude of 8000 ft (65 mmHg partial pressure of O2 in lungs) produces a detectable impairment of mental performance. Healthy people are able to compensate for altitudes up to 10,000 to 12,000 ft. Above this, risks become serious. Short term memory is affected early on.

At 18,000 ft the partial pressure is 50 mmHG (half that at sea level).

Unconsciousness occurs at about 35 mmHg of oxygen in the lungs (equivalent to prolonged exposure to altitudes between 20,000 and 25,0000).

Air can be used up to 10,000 ft. After that it needs to be mixed with oxygen up to 33,700 ft. Above this 100% oxygen upto 40,000 ft.

Above 40,000 ft 100% oxygen alone is insufficient and it must be supplied under pressure to the oxygen mask. This is pressure breathing.

Hypoxia does not lead to shortage of breath. If the oxygen supply system fails the normal reaction to lack of oxygen, "Panting" does not appear because, there is no excess of carbon dioxide.

Onset of hypoxia is insidious (like CO poisoning) and can be recognised only by being very aware of the symptoms.

Symptoms of Hypoxia:

Concentration difficulties.
Impaired judgement, mood changes, euphoria (euphoria can be experienced above 10,000 ft).
Drowsiness and lethargy.
Light headedness, dizziness, nausea.
Loss of muscular co-ordination.
Pallor and cyanosis.
Failure of the basic senses, especially colour vision, which becomes affected by 8000 ft. Night vision affected above 8000 ft.
Unconsciousness, coma and death.

Following factors increase the onset of hypoxia:

Exercise
Cold
Illness/age
Fatigue
The use of drugs/alcohol
Smoking. It can raise the physiological altitude by 4-5 thousand feet above the actual cabin altitude as the ability to transfer oxygen is reduced by 4% to 10%.

Time of Useful Consciousness

It is the length of time during which an individual can act with both mental and physical efficiency and alertness. It is measured from the moment at which an individual is exposed to hypoxia. It varies with altitude and these are the relevant levels believed to apply in this case

Altitude in ft .......... Time

30,000 .................. 30 seconds to 1 minute

35,000 .................. 15 to 30 seconds


Time of useful consciousness for people doing light to moderate work (effective performance time) falls by 40%.

Time of useful consciousness for people already short of oxygen (flying at a cabin altitude of 8000 ft) are half of the above values.

Can any 777 pilots confirm the cabin px at cruise altitude of 35,000ft? I know from my time as an FE that in many aircraft it's in the order of 5000 to 8000 ft so even before a failure all occupants are partially suffering from hypoxia.

Not a theory just some facts to help the discussion along.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:46
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Pentagon have just told ABC News that they are of the opinion mh370 went down in the Indian Ocean.

They are so confident that they are repositioning USS Kidd to the area to start a search
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:46
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I believe that in the case of Swissair 111 the range of the acoustic pinger was reduced due to being deeply embedded in the debris, the entire aircraft was in very small area.
BTW The idea of a check of local Seismic records sounds like a good one.
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Old 13th Mar 2014, 16:48
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Originally Posted by Lost in Saigon
Of course you can change your aircraft ID (call sign) in the cockpit. The call sign is your flight number as in "MH 370". This changes for each flight and is not specific to any one aircraft. I think this only applies to ADS B or CPDLC where the crew enters the flight number for the particular flight in the Flight Management Computer. Non ADS B flights would have the Call Sign entered by ATC when they assign the transponder code for the flight. (please correct me if this information is not correct)
The FlightID can be selected/changed in the cockpit via the radio management unit, FMS or by a dedicated control head - depending on the aircraft model. Part 121 operators typically set this to the flight number of the specific scheduled flight.

The mode S ID however can NOT be changed by the flight crew. This is a unique 24-bit number derived from the aircraft's registration number, and is hard-wired into the transponder mounting rack. Changing it (typically) involves moving wire jumpers on a programming plug, and can only be done on the ground by maintenance engineers.

The mode S ID is hard-wired in this way so that if the transponder has to be changed, the replacement unit will automatically assume the correct ID, merely by being slid into its mounting tray.
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